Sunday, April 23, 2006

The word is "premier"

As someone who has typed "reigns" for "reins" more than once (I stopped after my mother-in-law was kind enough to point this out to me), I know it's easy to be tripped up by homonyms. And, in the Web era, typos are something you learn to expect and ignore.

But these days, I seem to see an example every week -- in documents that have been formally prepared -- where the word "premiere" is confused with "premier."

The most recent case? I'm reading the ICT Toronto report that was issued last week (and prepared by a professional communications firm) and just read that Toronto "is a premiere location for ICT R&D and commercialization."

A quick scan of news releases on my computer found these other recent examples:
"MADD Canada, the country's premiere anti-impaired driving organization."
IMS, March 23, 2006
"enhance our position as a premiere provider of integrated flight operations solutions to airlines"
Navtech, March 17, 2006

"Survivor.com, a premiere online fan site for the popular TV program"
LiveHive, February 27, 2006

"Waterloo Region is becoming one of North America's premiere technology centres."
Communitech, January 6, 2006

"Navtech's strategic goal of becoming a premiere supplier of integrated flight operations solutions to airlines around the world"
Navtech, November 22, 2005

"tour one of Ontario's premiere trades and technology facilities"
TechAlliance, October 26, 2005

"We are extremely pleased that we have secured Class B certification with NOVA, one of the premiere processors in the U.S."
RDM, September 1, 2005
There have been MANY more examples.

Premiere refers to the first showing of something -- usually a play, movie, or TV show. Everything else is "premier," which is usually defined as "first in importance" and can often be replaced in a sentence by "leading." It really isn't difficult.

This has gone far beyond a simple typo. I thought it was pretty funny for a while. Now it's just getting embarrassing.

UPDATE: I see Mark Evans typed "reigns" for "reins" today (which may be fixed by now), so I'm not alone on that one! Maybe my mother-in-law can read his blog.